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Putin: US ‘leaked’ to Turkey the flight path of downed Russian jet


(Rose Troup Buchanan)  Vladimir Putin has accused the US of “leaking” the flight path of a downed Russian jet to Turkish authorities.

The Russian leader said America – as leaders of the coalition against Isis – had a responsibility to ensure warplanes were not targeted by members.

One of the Russian pilots was killed by Syrian forces after the SU-24 bomber was shot down. Turkish forces claimed it had violated the country’s airspace, despite as many as 10 warnings, on 24 November. The other man was later rescued by Russian and Syrian rebel forces.

Russian authorities have dismissed claims warnings were issued before Turkish F-16s targeted the aircraft as “rubbish”.

Russia and Turkey have traded verbal blows since the aircraft’s crash but on Friday the Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu – writing in The Times­ – appeared to strike a reconciliatory note.

“While measures to defend our country will remain in place, Turkey will work with Russia to calm tensions,” Mr Davutoglu wrote, emphasising the two countries “must not be distracted” from defeating Isis.

Although Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to refuse to apologise for the downing of the jet, he struck a more measured tone yesterday when he suggested his forces may “have warned it differently” had they known the plane was Russian.